Comparing the English Triodia


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I meant to post this last week but got side tracked ….

… two Orthros Aposticha from Cheese Week particularly inspired me, and I looked to see how they were translated among our available English Triodia (original, Father Seraphim Dedes/DCS, St Sergius, Holy Transfiguartion Monastery, Metropolitan Kallistos/Mother Mary’s Lenten Triodion). (as an aside, I personally love reading at least the Orthos Aposticha of Praises even if can't do anything else that morning).

So, if it is of interest to folks, I have them here in that order.

First Apostichon of the Praises for Monday of Cheese Week
Πάντα τὸν χρόνον, ἡ νηστεία ὠφέλιμός ἐστι, τοῖς αἰρουμένοις καὶ ποιοῦσιν αὐτήν· οὔτε γὰρ ἐπήρεια δαιμόνων, κατατολμᾷ τοῦ νηστεύοντος, ἀλλὰ καὶ οἱ φύλακες τῆς ζωῆς ἡμῶν Ἄγγελοι, φιλοπονώτερον παραμένουσι, τοῖς διὰ νηστείας ἡμῖν κεκαθαρμένοις.

Fasting is always beneficial to those who choose to practice it; for demonic assaults do not afflict the one who fasts. Also, our Guardian Angels stand by our side more diligently when we purify ourselves by fasting. (DCS attributes the translation to Father Seraphim; note I can't easily find a linkable url but I think we can can find this if we so desire. Of note, as I recall the Metropolitan Kallistos/Mother Mary translation is also often used on DCS)

At all times the Fast is profitable for those * who choose to observe it, * for the temptations of devils are rendered ineffective * against those who fast, *
rather the protectors of our lives, the angels, * abide with us who with fortitude,** cleanse ourselves by fasting


The Lenten Triodion (Supplement):

First Apostichon of the Praises for Tuesday of Cheese Week
Ἀσμένως λαοί, τὴν Νηστείαν ἀσπασώμεθα· ἔφθασε γὰρ τῶν πνευματικῶν ἀγώνων ἡ ἀρχή, ἀφήσωμεν τῆς σαρκὸς τὴν εὐπάθειαν, αὐξήσωμεν τῆς ψυχῆς τὰ χαρίσματα, συγκακοπαθήσωμεν ὡς δοῦλοι Χριστοῦ, ἵνα καὶ συνδοξασθῶμεν ὡς τέκνα Θεοῦ, καὶ τὸ Πνεῦμα τὸ ἅγιον ἐν ἡμῖν οἰκῆσαν, φωτίσῃ τὰς ψυχὰς ἡμῶν.

O people everywhere, let us greet the coming of Lent with gladness. Once again, we are at the opening of the spiritual games. Let us put aside our physical comforts, that we may increase the gifts of grace in our souls. Let us suffer with Christ as His servants, and we shall be glorified with Him as children of God. And the Holy Spirit will dwell in us and illumine our souls. (also attributed to Father Seraphim)

Joyously, let us greet the Fast O ye peoples, * for the beginning of noetic endeavors is upon us. * Let us lay aside the pleasures of the flesh, * that we may
increase spiritual gifts within our soul; * let us suffer together with Christ as His servants, * that we may be glorified together with Him as children of God, *
and may the Holy Spirit make its dwelling within us, ** radiating its light upon our souls.


Lenten Triodion (Supplement):

Those who prefer online editions can take their pick of DCS or St Sergius. Here are my brief thoughts on the others (I would not say these are “reviews”)

Personally, being now well into my second fast with the HTM and having used The Lenten Triodion for several years before, I would not say any one is necessarily objectively better than the other (unless of course you want a physical book with metered prosomia, in which case I’m sure you’ve already bought HTM)

The HTM Triodion is basically what one would expect from them: a very nicely bound hardback with excellent paper, layout, design, and fonts. As with their more recent translations of the Octoechos and Pentecostarion, the text criticism, editorial effort, editorial quality and theological accuracy/consistency is excellent, and the English usage is far better than earlier attempts (in particular their Psalter which I always find a bit of a slog, though I think all these three books are understandably a bit tighter than the much bigger Menaion project). There are still some times where their Elizabethan English tries to out-do the Anglican prayer book (the word “effrontery” above is not found in the 1662 prayer book at all; though they doubtlessly will defend using the word based on the Greek and the OED - a level of translation thought I appreciate); so those who do not like this kind of language and usage of course should look elsewhere.

Note that the Triodion does not contain the Great Week services, which are a separate volume.

One warning though: the paper and the cover material is, again typically for HTM, very nice. Cats will love to sit on the books if you keep them accessible - open or not, but IME particularly when they are open during prayer.

The Lenten Triodion: This is the classic translation I believe from the 1970s. Note that in its current form it’s in two volumes (first has the Lenten Sundays and then Great week with all kinds of explanations and essays; the second has all the weekdays and Saturdays. This system is, I believe by coincidence, convenient if you like a book to take along during the week with you). The layout, paper qualitiy, etc. is perfectly servicable, but not approaching the quality and layout (and ease of reading in church) of HTM’s. My parish has a typeset full edition from the 1970s, which is no longer available - IMO if they could, it would be very nice for SVS or STS to at least lay this out in a more parish-friendly single volume.



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